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McCaskill-Thune Bill Becomes Law, Guards Against EU Tax on Americans

Bipartisan legislation, signed today by President Obama, is among first laws signed since election

November 27, 2012

WASHINGTON - American airline passengers scored a win today as U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and John Thune's bipartisan legislation, which will protect Missouri consumers and American jobs from a European Union tax on the U.S. airline industry, was signed into law by President Obama.

"I'm happy for American consumers, who are the real winners here," McCaskill said. "It never made a bit of sense for European governments to tax our citizens for flying over our own airspace-and with the passage of this law we've got the tools we need to prevent it from happening and protect American jobs."

Responding to McCaskill and Thune's advancing legislation, the European Union recently announced that it would delay applying the E.U. Emissions Trading System (E.U. ETS) to the aviation industry for one year to allow time for an international agreement.

ETS is an emissions trading program that levies a tax on U.S. airline carriers' flights into and out of E.U. countries. It is related to European countries' interest in reaching their own internal goals for carbon emissions. The E.U. program applies a "cap-and-trade" carbon tax system to all flights originating or landing in Europe-taxing even those emissions that occur over the United States, international waters and elsewhere outside Europe. Remarkably, these taxes are not set aside for a specific purpose, and could be used as part of the general fund of any European Union government for virtually any purpose.

McCaskill, along with Thune (R-S.D.), led the effort to protect U.S. airlines from being forced to participate in the emissions trading program established by the E.U. The McCaskill-Thune legislation received the support of dozens of organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and unions representing airline employees.

Citing her Senate record, the nonpartisan news magazine National Journal ranked McCaskill exactly in the moderate middle of the U.S. Senate, #50 out of 100.

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